Hong Kong tops a new survey by Mercer to emerge as the most expensive city for expatriates, besting the Angolan capital of Luanda which has held the top spot for the past few years.
The city’s unaffordable housing and high rental costs were key in propelling Hong Kong back to the top of the list. It also didn’t help Luanda that oil-rich Angola has seen its currency collapse with the downturn in commodity prices.
The 2016 Cost of Living Rankings covers 209 cities across give continents and it designed to help multinational employers calculate expenses for their expatriate workers by looking at a basket of more than 200 items.
Expenses ranging from housing and transport to the price of a local beer are included in the methodology. Housing represents one of the largest costs, with a rental property required to be “of international standards” and located in “an appropriate neighborhood”.
After Hong Kong and Luanda, the top five included Zurich (3), Singapore (4) and Tokyo (5). Our fair city of Shanghai finished in a respectable 7th place.
“Many Asian cities remain amongst the world’s most expensive places to deploy expatriates,” said Mario Ferraro of Mercer. “However, this has not hindered companies from relocating talent here, as the region continues to offer growth potential and the demand for top talent remains high.”
Mercer’s results differ from those announced last December by ECA International. Their Cost of Living Survey named Shanghai as the most expensive city in Asia, followed by Beijing and Hong Kong.